Half-Life 2 is, simply put, the best single-player shooter ever released for the PC. It does so many things right in so many ways that it might be possible to write a thesis on the topic of Half-Life 2 compared to other single player shooters. What Valve has created is simply a masterpiece — a work of art in the genre. Not only does it engage the mind with mysterious happenings, vagaries, and mostly intelligent dialogue, but also captures the senses with a
superb visual style made possible by brilliant technology. And once the initial shock of it all wears off and it becomes possible to peel back the polished layers of sight and sound, there is an excellent shooter here. Half-Life 2 doesn’t do anything particularly new; it doesn’t really innovate in many ways. But what it does is set a new height for all other designers of first-person shooters to reach. It still isn’t exactly perfect, but it’s about as close as I’ve seen in my tenure here.
Before I really get into the review, you should know the background of how this game was reviewed. Valve did not want to send out copies of their game (for fairly obvious reasons) before it was released to the public. In order to play the game, I, and several of my colleagues throughout the industry, took a trip up to Seattle to visit Valve in order to have some private time with the title. I was given a little room to myself where I could close the door, turn off the lights, click my little red slippers, and pretend that I was sitting at home. It worked for the most part, largely because I was so engrossed with the game that when I came out of my trance I often had to take a moment to get my bearings. Obviously, Valve was happy to bring me into a controlled environment for ideal playing conditions. Still, no matter what you think of Valve’s business policies, Half-Life 2 is a “must buy” game. If you’re a fan of the series, that was already obvious. Heck, if you’re a PC gamer chances are you’re going to get it at some point anyway. But if you’re new or skeptical of the genre and want to see a prime example of the power and excitement of a first-person shooter, this is it. And it begins with the continuation of a story.
(Link doesnt’ work if you have ablocking system)